You Made It Happen!
Six days of summer camp can be a big deal for any kid. For children whose families can’t afford activities like camps or vacation, experiencing a week full of firsts can be life-changing: swimming in a lake, holding a frog, or seeing a nighttime sky filled with stars.
Sophie Gerson Healthy Youth (SGHY) coordinates and funds two yearly summer camps – Camp Zeke sleepaway the Kids of Summer day camp. This year, in the hands of dozens of nurturing counselors, lifeguards, coaches, and staff more than 100 rising 6th to 9th graders experienced a summer adventure that was, for some, the first opportunity to leave their neighborhoods since the COVID-19 pandemic began, or even their very first time in nature away from the city.
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“I know that for most of my students summer is devoid of adventure and activity. All of this changed when they were given the opportunity to attend Camp Zeke and this has become the highlight of their summers!”
John DeMatteo, Phys Ed Teacher, MS 126, Manhattan
What did it take to achieve this?
SGHY partners year-round with NYC public middle schools that select students who will benefit most from the camp experience. Along with the experienced counselors, coaches, lifeguards, and camper care staff, SGHY funds and arranges for the schools to provide faculty to attend camp as an additional resource.
Through our all-volunteer Board, Advisory Board, and Medical Board, we arrange transportation, enrollment, COVID precautions, and provide all necessary camper supplies and attire to families of the children attending. No family EVER pays for their child to attend any SGHY-sponsored program, including summer camp.
Thanks to our donors, SGHY was able to cover costs for all the above, enabling over 100 students to spend a whole week having fun, learning, and growing!
Every Donor is a Hero
Our collaborative model means funding is key to the success of our Summer Camp Program– Donors have the power to help us change lives! While camp counselors, coaches, and volunteers have a more visible role, our summer camp program would not exist without the generosity of our camp benefactors and our amazing collaborating institutions.
We’re So Grateful to Our Partners and Supporters
Thank you to everyone who donated to make this past summer a success. Hundreds of children now know the joys of stargazing, singing around a campfire, and engaging in camaraderie and competition with their peers in the great outdoors, all because you decided to donate!